The Taking of Tiger Mountain. Doesn’t that sound like pure fire? You see that trailer and it just sounds and looks like some extra gully Hong Kong experience. See, The Taking of Tiger Mountain is an adaptation of the novel 'Tracks' in the Snowy Mountain. It’s the story of People’s Liberation Army versus a Bandit Gang during the Chinese Revolution. The director is Tsui Hark, a director with a great legacy in Hong Kong action cinema. If you haven’t seen classics like Once Upon A Time In China or Legend of Zu you need to fix that.
Here’s the thing with this film though. It’s long, like LONG. It felt like watching a whole war. The pacing is totally off. This felt like they took what should’ve been some miniseries or two movies and crammed it in a really long movie. Some of that caused me to lose track of some of the characters, or really just their names. The characters are pretty amazingly costumed into these really cool and distinct looks. At times it's like watching a cool Tekken movie.
Now I don’t want to seem like a Debbie Downer because the one thing that is cool to see in this is the action. For those not up on Hark’s work he is like a god of what's called wire fu in martial arts flicks. He’s been doing this for close to 4 decades so now with technology out here his set pieces go pretty far insano. Take all that cool stuff from his kung fu with flying into trees and punching so hard the wind hurts and what not and apply that to soldiers fighting battles. You have tanks and planes and machines guns, you have hero soldiers bouncing bullets off of helmets to take guys out and stopping grenades with other grenades, complete insanity. If this movie was shorter it would’ve been worth every penny.